Blog Entry

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Posted on: December 29, 2010 12:30 pm
 

Well, we made it through another tiebreaker season.  Thanks to all for your participation, well-thought out comments and feedback.   Atlanta losing on Monday night certainly made for an interesting group of scenarios for the #1 seed in the NFC, but Philadelphia laying an egg on Tuesday night simplified many things in the NFC.   Full scenarios are listed below.

NOTES:
- ATL will be #1 seed UNLESS they lose and either NO or CHI wins
- ATL will be #2 seed if they lose and NO loses and CHI wins
- ATL will be #5 seed if they lose and both NO and CHI win
- NO can only be a #1 or #5 seed and will be #1 if they win and ATL loses
- If NO not #1 seed, they will be #5 and play AT NFC West winner (STL or SEA) Wild Card weekend (Saints beat both teams this year at home)
- CHI is the #2 seed unless ATL and NO both lose and CHI wins...then CHI would be #1 seed
- PHI is the #3 seed and will host the #6 seed (either GB, NYG or TB) on Wild Card weekend
- The STL-SEA winner (or STL in case of a tie) will host ATL or NO (whichever doesn't win the South) on Wild Card weekend
- GB will know by game time if their opponent (CHI) is locked into #2 seed (CHI would need ATL and NO losses in 1pm ET games to have chance at #1 seed).
- If GB wins, they will play at PHI on Wild Card weekend as the #6 seed.
- If TB wins early, GB knows they will need to win to get into playoffs and TB will root for GB and NYG losses to get a trip to PHI.
- TB game only matters to NYG if the Giants tie WAS.
- NYG can only get in as #6 seed and would play at PHI for a third game this season against the Eagles with a WIN and GB loss
- If TB, GB and NYG all win or all lose, GB will play at PHI on Wild Card weekend based on GB winning strength of victory tiebreaker among the three teams at 10-6 or 9-7.   At 10-6, GB would have a minimum wins by defeated opponents of 74 while NYG and TB would have maximums of 65 and 59 wins respectively.  At 9-7, GB would have a minimum wins by defeated opponents of 63 while NYG and TB would have maximum of 61 and 49 wins respectively. 

 NFC

  CLINCHED:    Atlanta - playoff spot.
               Chicago - NFC North division and a first-round bye.
               Philadelphia - NFC East division.
               New Orleans - playoff spot.
  ELIMINATED:  Carolina, Detroit, Washington, Dallas, Minnesota, Arizona,
               San Francisco.

 ATLANTA Falcons
  Atlanta clinches NFC South division and a first-round bye:
   1) ATL win or tie
   2) NO loss or tie
  Atlanta clinches homefield advantage:
   1) ATL win or tie
   2) NO loss or tie + CHI loss or tie

 CHICAGO Bears
  Chicago clinches homefield advantage:
   1) CHI win + ATL loss + NO loss or tie

 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
  New Orleans clinches NFC South and homefield advantage:
   1) NO win + ATL loss

 GREEN BAY Packers
  Green Bay clinches a playoff spot:
   1) GB win
   2) GB tie + NYG loss or tie + TB loss or tie
   3) NYG loss + TB loss

 NEW YORK GIANTS
  NY Giants clinch a playoff spot:
   1) NYG win + GB loss or tie
   2) NYG tie + GB loss + TB loss or tie

 TAMPA BAY Buccaneers
  Tampa Bay clinches a playoff spot:
   1) TB win + NYG loss or tie + GB loss or tie
   2) TB tie + NYG loss + GB loss

 ST. LOUIS Rams
  St. Louis clinches NFC West division:
   1) STL win or tie

 SEATTLE Seahawks
  Seattle clinches NFC West division:
   1) SEA win

Comments

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 7:29 am
 

ReThinking the 8 Division Structure






All I can say is that all of this matters.

One way to track all of this is Strength of Schedule and also Strength of Victory numbers begin to tell a tale.



The NFL stopped listing the SoV on its standings page a number of years back.     Why?   It was making teams with good records on the surface look bad.


__________________________



In the case of the NFC West, all those teams play each other, so those wins are in the records of those teams no matter what.


Now, consider that all the teams in the NFC South got to play ALL the teams in the NFC West this year.     There are extra wins in the NFC South as a result of the SCHEDULE.


The clear issue comes about in the WILDCARD RACE.     Teams end up with wildly different strength of schedules, which is not a level playing field.   





Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 7:12 am
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios



My comments about Indy were clearly about a time period in the past




l am speaking generically and speaking about the general problems with 4-team Divisions

Every combination of strong-weak teams will occur and I don't believe they work out well.



________________



In the case of Indy, there was a time in which there were one strong team and three weak teams.    This gave Indy six relatively easy Division games


One can compare that to a situation in which there are 3 strong teams in a division.    Those teams end up with a disportionate amount of difficult games


Add to that the rotation of Divisions, if the above two situations are combined with pairing those teams with relatively strong or weak Divisions, the situation can be exagerated to a greater extent.
 

_____________



The bottom line is that with 8 Divisions, these "extreme" situations are going to develop all the time.


If one tracks SoV and SoS, one can see how this has happened.


The 8 Divisions do not work.     
Plus the schedule rotations on 4 and 3 year cycles does not work either



Since: Nov 27, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2010 6:55 am
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Chili,
I have to strongly disagree with you on a the Indy comments.  It is obvious you haven't been paying attention to that division the last several years.  Last year the Colts did have an excellent season.  In 08 the Colts didn't even win the division.  The Tennessee Titans not only won the division, they were the number one seed in the playoffs.  The year before that the Colts, Jaguars and Titans ALL had double digit wins and ALL three made the playoffs.  Weak division every year?  I understand it is frustrating seeing them win every year, but it is not from a weak division.  It is because the people in the organization do their job well and are able to draft good players and hang on to the guys they need most.
As to your argument about having three good teams in a division - I don't see how it matters.  Take the NFC South for example. Atlanta, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay are all good teams.  It shows in their records even though it is the only division that will feature three teams with winning records.  I've heard some people upset that they might get left out of the playoffs because they play in such a tough division which is "unfair" when other divisions such as the NFC West are much weaker.  The idea seems to be that if they played in the NFC West things would be more fair because they would make the playoffs instead of Rams/Seahawks.  There is some logic in that, however I don't see how it matters. They have lost all three games to the Falcons and Saints.  Two of those losses were by 25 points.  Does them playing in the NFC West and finishing with 12 wins instead of 9 somehow make them a better team?  Nope.  Players are all the same.  The run the same scheme.  How can anyone complain that they don't get the chance to prove themselves in the playoffs?  They have had multiple chances already and couldn't do it.
As for teams getting the wild card because they play in a weak division...if that were true the NFC West would be proving you right, not proving you wrong.  Ditto goes for the AFC South which you claim is so weak.

As to having to play on the road in the playoffs...doesn't really matter if you are good enough.  Look at the last five Super Bowl winners.  Two out five (The 07 Giants and 05 Steelers) won the Super Bowl while playing EVERY playoff game on the road.  The good teams don't cry about when or where they have to play.  They just suit up, man up, and whoop up on the other team. If homefield advantage was everything, the number 1 seeds would make the Super Bowl more often than not.  In fact before the Colts and Saints both made it last year, there hadn't been a match up of 1 seeds in the Super Bowl since the 1993 season when the Bills met the Cowboys for the second time.  And you know that was a while ago if I'm mentioning Bills and Super Bowl in the same sentence.  Or Cowboys and Super Bowl for that matter.

By the way... you say "Now we have 12 playoff teams.  Wow"  I just would like to point out that we had 12 playoff teams WAY before we had 8 divisions.




Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 12:22 am
 

Weak NFC West



At 23 - 37 total win-loss record

However remember 12 wins are within the Division games for the year, and two havent been played yet.

So, they are 13 - 27 outside the Division so far this year which is .325


The four teams combined for 13 wins outside the Division this year


The rotation gave those Divisions playing the NFC West this year a big advantage.



Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 12:03 am
 

Thoughts on the 8 Division Structure



Having 8 Divisions has become ridiculous.  
    There is too much uneveness in performance and scheduling.


We need less Divisions and these ridiculous situations will not develop all the time.


It seems that right now, a ridiculous thing happens every years.     
; This year, perhaps the team with the second-best record in the Conference is going to have to play a road game at a team with a .500 or losing reord.


_________________________



Having Indy in a Division with three weak teams was also ridiculous for years -   it also gave Indy 6 easy wins every years and the fans were bored out of their minds

Having a Division with three hard teams turns out to be an uneven mess.     Those games turn out to be difficult and the teams with the easy Divisions (and easy shedules) get the wildcard.


An 8 Division structure magnifies the uneveness  -   more Division games with either harder teams or easier teams.    The whole effect is doubled.


__________________



A four team division makes little sense.    Two teams, on average, have to have losing records.    So two teams are competing to win the Division, and half who don't win get a wildcard     Not very interesting.


There really is no good combination  -    4 team Divisons do NOT work.   


8 Divisions is way too many.    It cheapens the value of winning a Division.     Now we have 12 playoff teams.     Wow.     Really important slogan.    &nbs
p; "Top 12"


Those are my thoughts.    The problems are much deeper than one weak Division.    


The scheduling is all way-off.    And we arent getting the rivalries we should with 4 team Divisions.



.



Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2010 6:25 pm
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

RDS:

It's okay to nitpick...thx for pointing out.

I copied wrong note into Notes above.

Should read:

- ATL will be #5 seed if they lose and NO wins (CHI would be #2 seed)



Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2010 4:45 pm
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios



Joe    


Great work on these tiebreakers




But it is not nearly as confusing as last year when the results of the Houston game determined the order of tiebreaking procedures - so the whole thing was twisted into a circular logic which made no sense


So, this year is quite disappointing and the clarity leaves us with a feeling that this year is just not measuring up to the anticipated level of confusion and inability to explain anything.




.



Since: Dec 29, 2010
Posted on: December 29, 2010 1:50 pm
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

ATL will be #5 seed if they lose and both NO and CHI win

Not to nitpick, but what Chicago does is irrelevant if Atlanta loses and New Orleans wins.  New Orleans becomes #1 and Atlanta #5 with Chicago at #2.



Since: Dec 12, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2010 12:48 pm
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Joe,

I'll go ahead and repost this here on the updated NFC playoff scenarios blog:

WEEK 17 NFC SEEDING SCENARIOS (assumes no ties occur):

Here are the NFC Playoff seeding possibilites pending the results of the following Week 17 games that have bearing on the #1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 seeds.  (Philadelphia is assured of the #3 seed):

Carolina at Atlanta 1:00 (FOX), Tampa Bay at New Orleans 1:00 (FOX), Chicago at Green Bay 4:15 (FOX), New York Giants at Washington 4:15 (FOX), St. Louis at Seattle 8:20 (NBC)

Winning team listed / Final NFC Seeding

ATL...NO...GB...NYG...STL = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-GB
ATL...NO...GB...NYG...SEA = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-GB
ATL...NO...GB...WAS...STL = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-GB
ATL...NO...GB...WAS...SEA = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-GB
ATL...NO...CHI..NYG...STL = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-NYG
ATL...NO...CHI..NYG...SEA = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-NYG
ATL...NO...CHI..WAS...STL = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-GB
ATL...NO...CHI..WAS...SEA = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-GB 
ATL...TB....GB...NYG...STL = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-GB
ATL...TB....GB...NYG...SEA = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-GB
ATL...TB....GB...WAS...STL = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-GB
ATL...TB....GB...WAS...SEA = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-GB
ATL...TB...CHI...NYG...STL = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-NYG
ATL...TB...CHI...NYG...SEA = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-NYG
ATL...TB...CHI...WAS...STL = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-TB
ATL...TB...CHI...WAS...SEA = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-TB
CAR...NO...GB...NYG...STL = 1-NO, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-ATL, 6-GB
CAR...NO...GB...NYG...SEA = 1-NO, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-ATL, 6-GB
CAR...NO...GB...WAS...STL = 1-NO, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-ATL, 6-GB
CAR...NO...GB...WAS...SEA = 1-NO, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-ATL, 6-GB
CAR...NO...CHI..NYG...STL = 1-NO, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-ATL, 6-NYG
CAR...NO...CHI..NYG...SEA = 1-NO, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-ATL, 6-NYG
CAR...NO...CHI..WAS...STL = 1-NO, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-ATL, 6-GB
CAR...NO...CHI..WAS...SEA = 1-NO, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-ATL, 6-GB 
CAR...TB....GB...NYG...STL = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-GB
CAR...TB....GB...NYG...SEA = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-GB
CAR...TB....GB...WAS...STL = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-GB
CAR...TB....GB...WAS...SEA = 1-ATL, 2-CHI, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-GB
CAR...TB...CHI...NYG...STL = 1-CHI, 2-ATL, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-NYG
CAR...TB...CHI...NYG...SEA = 1-CHI, 2-ATL, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-NYG
CAR...TB...CHI...WAS...STL = 1-CHI, 2-ATL, 3-PHI, 4-STL, 5-NO, 6-TB
CAR...TB...CHI...WAS...SEA = 1-CHI, 2-ATL, 3-PHI, 4-SEA, 5-NO, 6-TB



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com